I recently heard that Thai may leave the Star Alliance after SQ joins - unless of course SQ buys the airline. If Thai does leave, DL / AF would obviously be interested in them - perhaps oneworld would be too since they lack a real SE Asian member - Cathay Pacific really isn't SE Asian. Wings probably wouldn't be interested because they will probably have Malaysian Airlines as a member. What are your opinions on this? I would put oneworld as the favourite, but as a DL flyer right now (I'm not sure for how much longer), I would welcome it if they finally got a new Asian partner. (Sorry Korean Air does not count!)
Oct 20, 99, 1:56 am
the Thai minister of transportation made it very clear, that the Thai governement is intending to sell a minority stake of shares to the highest bidder in the first place, but that the Thai governement is also concerned that with Singapore Airlines now having joined StarAlliance (and favoring SIN as major asian hub against BKK) they are also in discussion on that share-deal with one-world-carriers (first place: BA).
Just months ago, Thai did strengthen their StarAlliance-links with a training/managing/technical/consulting agreement with Lufthansa ...
Oct 20, 99, 2:11 am
No worries Leroy
You'll probably get China Airlines!
Oct 20, 99, 6:33 am
Rudi, once again, you are a source of clear, concise information. Thanks.
Oct 20, 99, 10:06 pm
It seems Star is getting out of hand anyway. I mean how many partners can possibly get together? OneWorld seems to be a much tighter group and more aligned in its structure and benefits. I would love for Thai to move to Oneworld, living in Bangkok and having that extra choice would be nice.
Oneworld and Delta/AF could both use Thai. I still think it is odd that Star can add both Thai and Singapore, there just doesn't seem much point in it.
Rudi is correct about the Thai share sale, but note that it is absolutely a minority stake, SQ could not aqcuire a controlling interest(or any other foreignor) I believe the current restriction is 25% foreign ownership of a domestic Thai airline, with proposal to increase this to 40%, but I dont think this passed yet.
in any case, if Thai was to leave, I think they would already have a new alliance picked and agreed. I wonder what kind of restrictions star has on partners leaving anyway? As monstrous as Star is becoming, it can't be too difficult to leave since it seems so easy to enter...
Oct 22, 99, 3:41 pm
Frankly, I don't care who Thai aligns themselves with if they keep their silly award/reward structure in place. They only award you 50% of your actual miles when flying coach. Worse, to redeem miles on Thai is a joke: 95,000 Mileage Plus miles for a US-Asia coach ticket? United (and most everyone else) charges 90,000 for a business class seat.
Granted I hear Thai's trans-Pacific service is quite good (I've only flown them within Thailand so I don't have much to judge them on), but the bottom line is the bottom line.
Oct 22, 99, 7:12 pm
I flew this summer SYD - BKK and BKK - ZRH in business class.
SYD - BKK: had exit row seat upstairs on B 747-400; no foot-/legrests, unconfortable 9 hrs. flight.
BKK - ZRH: MD-11, had window seat on the left; unconfortable too, because of archaic footrest mounted under the seat in front of me. The bulhead seats again had no foot/legrests whatsoever.
Service and food was pretty good.
Oct 25, 99, 10:46 am
Your complaint isn't with Thai, it is with that crappy (IMHO) UNITED Program! United is the one that gives 50% on Thai economy. Thai's Royal Orchid Plus was one of, if not the first, asian airline's program to give mileage in economy, and 100% at that. This was long before Star was even a dream. So why did United screw Thai? That is the proper question. Lufthansa and I guess other Star carriers give regular (or slightly reduced 70%?) credit on Thai flights. (I am sure another thread has discussed it, Rudi surely knows if you have any doubts). Also note United also gives 70% on SQ flights, another future Star Partner (but in SQ's case, SQ gives only what is it 50%, but 75% in 1999, in economy).
I agree Thai's awards are high under United's program (**BUT SO ARE UNITED'S**), not sure how the other Star Carriers handle that, but Thai's ROP awards are high, probably from the above, since they were giving miles to economy when others weren't. I would expect that if Thai were to switch alliance's, the new partners would require some adjustment so they are better matched. It seems Oneworld's programs are much closer aligned than Star's, and as Star grows bigger (read:more ungodly) I think the task of bringing them closer in line becomes increasingly difficult-impossible.
Now having said all that and tried to defend Thai, this weekend I flew Thai domestically and put my miles into United MP (J class gets full credit - if I flew economy it would have gone to ROP), because United miles are still more valuable than Thai's.
hoping TG does leave, and go to OW or Delta...
Oct 25, 99, 11:04 am
yes - in this respect (TG-eco-flights: UA 50%, LH 100%) it is UA's policy (not Thai's or LH's which would be to blame) - as with non-transatlantic LH-eco-flights (UA 50%, LH 100%) - as with upgrades only on selected fares (LH on all paid fares) - as with only effectiv miles on UA-shuttle (LH minimum 500 miles) - as with only 25% bonus in business (LH 100%), 50% in first (LH 200%) - as with only considering base (flight) miles for status (LH class bonus miles count for status).
But on the other hand: UA awards are freely transferable to everybody (LH only partner/children or persons flying the same itinierary as you), UA offers upgrade vouchers (500 mile-vouchers and one-way-confirmable upgrade-vouchers) for inner-North-American-flights (LH 'only one European upgrade per 50'000 miles or one int. upgrade per 100'000 miles), and on many routings UA asks for less award-miles than LH. And UA grants (on UA and LH-code-share transatlantic-flights) a 25% (Premier) or 100% (PremEx, 1K) status bonus - LH only a treshold bonus for reaching 35'000 (7'000 miles bonus) and 100'000 (20'000 miles bonus) flight miles (incl staus%) for flights with all *carriers.
[This message has been edited by Rudi (edited 10-25-1999).]
Feb 7, 00, 9:08 pm
Does anyone have any updated info on TG's intentions??
Feb 8, 00, 4:44 pm
Thanks tummyg! I always thought that 50% miles in economy thing was Thai's fault. SAS really seems to have the most easy-to-understand FF program, since they give 100% miles in economy on all partners, 200% miles in business and first on all partners, and they round up to the next 100 miles. I never ever considered flying Thai to Asia from the U.S., simply because I would be getting so many more miles on United. I wish United would be a little more consistent with miles.
Feb 8, 00, 6:16 pm
Replace Thai with a real Asian airline - Biman Bangladeath has a great network with down to EARTH people.
Feb 8, 00, 7:51 pm
Air Canada grants full mileage on coach for Thai.
Feb 8, 00, 10:08 pm
so does LH: 100% in eco, 200% bus, 300% first, plus 500 /1'000/1'500 minimum eco/bus/first (not only on Thai, even on UA Shuttle); and all those class-bonus-miles count for status too with LH.
Feb 9, 00, 8:34 am
Latest press report on this subject:
The Associated Press
Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2000; 10:00 a.m. EST
BANGKOK, Thailand –– Thai Airways International said Wednesday it is considering leaving the Star Alliance of linked airlines to join a rival group.
The move apparently was prompted by the imminent membership in the Star Alliance of stronger regional rival Singapore Airlines.
"We have asked our financial adviser to consider whether it is better to stay with the Star Alliance or whether it is better to leave," said Thamnoon Wanglee, president of Thai Airways.
The decision to review Star membership came after figures showed Singapore Airlines cost Thai Airways $10 million last year by taking over some non-alliance code-sharing agreements with Lufthansa on flights from Europe, a Thai Airways official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Singapore Airlines is scheduled to join Star in April. The group also includes United Airlines, Lufthansa, Air Canada, Air New Zealand, All Nippon Airways, Scandinavian Airlines System and Varig of Brazil.
Thailand's national carrier could jump to the rival Oneworld alliance, which doesn't yet have a Southeast Asian member, analysts told Dow Jones Newswires.
Qantas Airways and British Airways, founding members of Oneworld, are interested in Bangkok as a hub for routes to Australia, said Chin Lim, an airline analyst at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter in Singapore.
Oneworld also includes Cathay Pacific, Canadian Airlines, American Airlines, Finnair and Spain's Iberia Airlines. Ireland's Aer Lingus and Lan Chile have agreed to join later this year.
Feb 9, 00, 8:51 am
Sorry Craig- Just made the same post at the same time under Star/Thai! I'd checked twice (but not this "NEWS" section) and couldn't find this thread!
Feb 9, 00, 9:34 am
kokonutz will be really bummed if Thai leaves Star. http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/mad.gif
Feb 9, 00, 5:11 pm
Here is something from Singapore's Business Times: http://business-times.asia1.com.sg/shippingtimes/airla01.html
SQ has made it clear too that they would like to code-share between Singapore and Bangkok, thereby making it a Shuttle Service. Airfares on THAI from Singapore are one of the cheapest around for travel to Thailand, Asia and Europe. If SQ starts code-sharing with them, people will leave THAI and go on SQ especially if there is no difference in fare but a huge difference in food, service and comfort. THAI's B777-200 and B777-300 have the most uncomfortable seats ever in economy and business class.
THAI currently enjoys revenue from the THAI government and since it is majority owned by them anyway, there is no need to improve their service. I just took a recent BKK-HKG flight and by the time the plane landed, I just couldn't wait to dash out of the airport.
My hunch is that TG will join an alliance that currently does not have ANY asian partners - so that excludes OneWorld. Swissair seems a good bet as does maybe Air France/Delta. Or they may actually go the Swissair way and do it on their own and code-share with everyone.
Feb 10, 00, 12:41 pm
During the Air Canada/Canadian Airlines battle last fall, I thought *A members tightened their links to each other. The goal was to protect AC, but I thought the result was that any partner would pay megabucks to get out.
Feb 11, 00, 1:03 am
islandclub, I was wondering about that too, but from what I read at that time, the AC thing was only a deal between United, Lufthansa and AC as a deal for injecting more money and making sure AC couldnt leave Star, I don't think the other Star partners were involved. Of course that begs the question of why the original alliance agreement didn't address departures, unless it did and it isn't a significant amount/issue.